The indirect object of a verb in English

Example:

I bring my mother flowers.

Analysis of the example

  • I bring = subject + action
    my mother = is she the direct object of the action of bringing or the indirect beneficiary of the action of bringing?
    flowers = is it the direct object of the action of bringing or the indirect beneficiary of the action of bringing?

  • Do you bring your mother or do you bring flowers?
    Obviously, the sentence means:
    I bring flowers to my mother.

  • In this sentence, flowers is the direct object (of the action of bringing), and my mother is the beneficiary, i.e. the indirect object (of the action of bringing).

Using pronouns:

I bring her flowers.

  • I bring = subject + action

  • I bring what?  I bring my mother? no! I bring flowers !

  • flowers = the direct object of the action of bringing (question: what?)

  • her = the indirect beneficiary of the action of bringing (question: to whom? for whom?)

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